The gift of knowledge has no boundaries, or state lines. Education is a universal gift that remains in high-demand, presenting unique opportunities for teachers to seek international positions.
Like many other educators we connect with, TeacherReady teacher Tom Gates wanted to teach internationally. He accepted his first teaching position in Korea where he taught English to Speakers of Other Languages; during his final year teaching in Korea, Tom earned his professional teaching certificate as a teacher candidate with the University of West Florida’s TeacherReady. Tom now teaches ESOL in Japan and continues to use social media as a tool to stay connected with others and to capture his experiences as an international teacher.
From his blog Red Dragon Diaries, to his eBook Destiny Nation: Korea, and his YouTube channel, he shares the realities of transitioning into the classroom as an early career teacher, while experiencing the excitement and culture of a new country. We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Tom via Skype to get his thoughts on how to best prepare for teaching internationally.
Thinking about Teaching Internationally? Tom suggests clearing your mind of any expectations that you may have, and making your time teaching internationally your own experience. He goes on to suggest that you must prepare yourself mentally by understanding that it is still going to be day-to-day life with the same stresses that you experience back home. But now, you must manage these while also experiencing the challenge of a language barrier and a culture shock.
It’s been a great pleasure for the TeacherReady team to learn from Tom and our other TeacherReady teachers and teacher candidates as they complete their professional teaching certificate while teaching internationally. While teaching internationally may be viewed as a “once in a lifetime” or “dream” experience, it is the life and career that Tom and many of our teacher candidates now pursue. If you think teaching internationally might be for you, we encourage you to seek out other professionals, like Tom, and read of their experiences and ask them questions. You’ll find them on blog sites, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube, among others. Build your knowledge through their valuable shared experiences to prepare yourself for the unknown challenges you face.
Photo credit: Red Dragon Diaries (www.reddragondiaries.com)